Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser has charged the former Adams County Sheriff Richard Reigenborn, former Undersheriff Thomas McLallen, and former Division Chief Michael Bethel for allegedly carrying out a scheme to falsify records and claim credit for state-mandated law enforcement training they did not complete.
The three men are accused of signing various training rosters for classes they did not attend and/or submitting training certificates to Colorado Peace Officer Standards and Training in an attempt to count these fictitious trainings towards their 2021 mandatory annual training hours. According to the Attorney General's Office, Colorado POST is a unit in the Colorado Department of Law that oversees the training and certification of peace officers in the state.
According to an arrest affidavit, Bethel also allegedly used McLallen's password to logon to one of McLallen's online accounts to complete training for McLallen. Without counting the fraudulent training, Reigenborn and McLallen lacked the hours needed to meet in-service training requirements for 2021.
"A foundation of effective policing is reliable and sound training. Well-trained officers build community trust and confidence in law enforcement. We'll continue to take seriously any allegation of efforts to disregard state-mandated training or submit fraudulent training records to POST," said Weiser in a statement.
All three have been charged with felony counts of forgery, attempt to influence a public servant, conspiracy to commit forgery and conspiracy to attempt to influence a public servant.
Additional Information from the Attorney General's Office:
Colorado peace officers are required to complete a minimum of 24 hours of annual in-service training, including at least 12 hours of perishable skills training in arrest control, driving, and firearms. Colorado POST can suspend a peace officer's certification if the peace officer fails to meet the annual training requirements. Law enforcement agencies are also responsible for submitting truthful and accurate data to Colorado POST. A law enforcement agency can lose access to POST grant funds if it is found to be out of compliance with POST training rules due to their officers failing to complete required annual training.
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